To be concerned(8 Posts)
More of a wwyd really. I would genuinally appreciate some advice.
I have a very close friend who had her second baby girl 5 months ago, she already has a 4 and a half year old daughter.
What is concerning me is my friends behaviour towards her second DD.
She shouts at the baby, only holds her when feeding her and even then holds her at arms length- sometimes even feeding the baby on the floor with the baby led down flat, she says the baby isnt clingy, doesnt need to be held and would rather be on her own. She covers her up in her pushchair with a screen by which the baby cannot be seen- I appreciate this is a sun shade but the baby is covered up like this all the time even when awake and indoors.
She constantly puts the baby out of sight and frequently puts her to sleep upstairs alone on her bed even though the baby can roll over.
On the other hand her first daughter is constantly hugged and picked up- never told off when she has done wrong and constantly complemented- I appreciate that she may be trying to help her first DD to deal with having a new sister but her second DD needs her too. She has mentioned that she wanted a boy the second time around and she thought her little one was a boy- she says she cant cope with girls.
The baby herself is very small for her age, grizzly and often looks dirty.
I am honestly writing this for some advice, I am not in judgement of her I just want to help.
Do you think she might have PND? could you maybe try to talk to her about this?
is she aware of how she is acting?
Could she be suffering from PND? (not a diagnosis just a question)
Are you close enough that you could talk to her about her behaviour? Does she have emotionally support from DP/DH?
I must admit her behaviour does seem rather unreasonable but could the problems be a bit deeper than that? If she is aware of her behaviour and is aware that she is treating one DC differently to the other then shame on her, the new baby is being neglectled so as a friend you should say something before a HV has to talk to her etc
I only have 1 DC and don't plan to have anymore but if I were ever to change my mind I would like to hope that both DC were treated and loved in exactly the same way
Probably not a lot of advice from me but just some questions and my HO
I think you need to tell somebody your concerns and do it quick before things get really out of hand, for the mums sake if anything else.
Where's the father in all this? Do you know him well?
I think this is a big enough deal that you just have to swallow any social niceties and speak to either her or the father. You have to say how concerned you are for the baby's well-being - you might lose a friend in the process but the baby's welfare is much more important. It could be that she's struggling to cope and "blaming" the baby for that - Homestart or something could help.
does she have a partner? could you ask him if he's aware of this behaviour? he must have done and is in a better position to help. if she's a very close friend you have to bring it up with her. she reminds a bit of me with my first, not as extreme, i didnt hide him from view or leave him anywhere dangerous, but i held him at arms length and only for as long as necessary. i'd rather anyone held him but me, i thought he hated me and i just didnt feel like he was mine. when i looked up PND i didnt find anything that sounded like me, it was all obsessive cleaning and over protective, not letting other people near the baby type things so i concluded i was just a terrible mother. it wasnt until he was 1 that i was diagnosed and things improved. She's obviously not just an awful person because she treats her other DD so differently, baby needs affection though so she needs someone to help her see she needs to address it.
Thank you all for you heartfelt advice- Yes she has a husband who works very long hours- he went back to work within days of her having a c-section and up until recently he didnt appear supportive at all. However lately I have noticed he is taking more time off work to be with her, holding his second DD more and taking more of a role in family life.
She is a close friend and normally a lovely caring person. She doesnt have a good relationship with her parents either and does lack support. Her behaviour has been bizzare too at times- she has dyed her hair bright green, continually goes running and seems to do a lot of baking even though she has stopped cooking proper meals. I have been thinking possible PND, and I have try to help with the girls, and ask her if she is ok but she is a proud person and just admits to beng tired.
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